A candlelight vigil Saturday (June 23) will mark the 10th anniversary of a Nanaimo woman’s disappearance.
Lisa Marie Young has not been seen since she left a house party in Nanaimo the morning of June 30, 2002.
Ten years later, her mother, Joanne Young, still waits for the mystery of her daughter’s disappearance to be solved and Nanaimo RCMP investigators continue to hope for a break in the case.
In the intervening years, Joanne has fought to keep her daughter’s memory alive with walks, vigils and other public reminders.
This year’s event, A Voice for Lisa Marie, takes place at 10 a.m. at Christ Community Church, 2221 Bowen Rd.
Supporters will set out for a walk along Bowen Road at 10:15 a.m. and then return to the church to share memories.
Joanne arranged the ceremony to be held one week ahead of the anniversary of her daughter’s disappearance, so it won’t conflict with the Canada Day holiday and more people can turnout.
About 40 supporters attended last year’s vigil.
Ten years have done little to sooth the agony of her daughter’s disappearance.
“It was even quite a struggle to get into planning this because it is really hard emotionally,” Joanne said.
Lisa Marie would be 31 this year.
“There are people who know what happened,” Joanne manages to get out before choking up with emotion.
There are plenty of ongoing missing persons cases in B.C., but locally there has always been a strong emphasis by the RCMP on the Lisa Marie Young file because police believe finding her will provide the missing pieces to the puzzle of an unsolved crime.
“We believe she met foul play,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, RCMP spokesman. “That’s the bottom line. It’s a suspicious missing [case] and tragically we think she met with the hands of foul play.”
Lisa Marie was last seen at about 3 a.m. June 30, 2002, leaving a house party in Nanaimo’s Cathers Lake area with a man who drove an older model red Jaguar. The last anyone heard from her was when she phoned a friend at 4:30 a.m.
Police identified the car and the man Young left the party with. He is part of a police list of persons of interest in the case, but in spite of following up every lead, producing Crime Stoppers TV reenactments and even conducting a full scale search with K-9 units based on information from a psychic, police have, so far, not been able to prove foul play or find the missing woman’s remains.
“Based on the evidence gathered – and we have thousands of pieces of documentation, we have hundreds of tips, we have Crime Stoppers tips, we have the public calling, it’s brought to the public’s attention every year through the family’s vigilance with their walks and not letting her memory fade – our members continue to work this file and, hopefully, someday we’ll get a break and we’ll find out what happened,” O’Brien said.
Anyone with information about what happened to Lisa Marie Young is asked to contact Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.